What’s So Special About Us? ‘Free Inquiry’ on Human Exceptionalism


For Immediate Release: August 12, 2019
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
press@centerforinquiry.org - (207) 358-9785

Human beings have discarded the notion that our planet sits at the literal center of the universe, and most of us have accepted the fact that we evolved through natural processes, not zapped into existence by a deity. But according to Adam Neiblum, author of the cover feature for the latest issue of Free Inquiry magazine, there’s one very big myth our species has yet to bust: the myth of our exceptionalism.

Neiblum writes that human beings are woefully misguided to assume that there is something categorically superior about us and that our well-being as a species may depend upon our learning this hard lesson—that our “arrogance and hubris” are “causally connected” to such crises as climate change, pollution, and overpopulation.

Neiblum says some of the blame can be placed on Abrahamic religions that used God as a “surrogate” for humanity, but that contemporary secularists continue to propagate this flawed concept (many of us do call ourselves secular humanists, after all).

Also in this issue: CFI president and CEO Robyn Blumner details the grassroots activism pushing back against anti-vaccine crusaders (and previews some of CFI’s upcoming efforts); Free Inquiry editor Tom Flynn revisits his exploration of political divisions within secular/atheist movement; historian Allen Agnitti examines what overlap exists between humanism and socialism; geologist Leonard Eisenberg presents evidence-based interpretations for the story of Jesus’s “empty tomb”; and much more.

Find the August/September issue of Free Inquiry on newsstands, and you can subscribe to Free Inquiry in print or online.

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.